Heavy showers at Vaigai dam and Veerapandi on Monday night did not cheer farmers in Theni and four southern districts, who have been eagerly awaiting the release of water from the dam for irrigation.
Poor rainfall and no possibility of water release from the dam in the near future for irrigation of over two lakh acres in Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts have disappointed the farmers much.
The showers and inflow from the Periyar dam increased the water level in the Vaigai dam by five feet since September 14. The level in the Periyar dam on Tuesday stood at 115.30 feet (total permissible level 136 feet) with an inflow of 346 cusecs and a discharge of 763 cusecs. The level in the Vaigai dam was 59.19 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 506 cusecs and a discharge of 41 cusecs.
Even as the storage level in the Vaigai dam was steadily moving up, owing to intermittent showers in the catchments and on the dam site, the PWD engineers were not satisfied with the present storage level, stating that it was insufficient to irrigate single and double crop areas under its ayacut in five districts.
“We need at least 6,000 mcft of water to irrigate 85,000 hectares of cultivable land in Madurai and Sivaganga districts alone,” an engineer said.
Already, the State Government has advised the PWD engineers to maintain storage in all reservoirs to meet drinking water supply and give next priority for agriculture. The mercy of rain gods in the coming months alone would help them this season, said farmers in Dindigul and Theni districts.
Theni town and nearby areas experienced heavy downpour for more than two hours on Monday night, flooding roads and paralysing movement of vehicles.
Rainwater stagnated on arterial roads in the town. Except Theni, Veerapandi and Vaigai dam areas, other parts of the district did not receive rain.
The rainfall recorded at Vagai dam was 25 mm and Veerapandi 23 mm.
Dindigul town too received moderate showers in the afternoon. Mild shower was recorded on Monday night in several parts of the district. Sky was overcast in the morning.